Everyone knows it takes three trimesters to hear the first cries of a newborn baby. But did you know it takes three trimesters to give birth to a real solid relationship? Unfortunately, the time frame is different. Good relationships don’t necessarily take nine months; they may take nine years for your delivery. First Trimester: Like the feelings you have when you find out you’re pregnant, the initial surge of excitement when you connect with someone is intense and euphoric. The first few dates are heart pounding and your hormone switch flips into high gear. You can’t wait to kiss that person at the end of a date. Your days are consumed by thoughts of the new guy/girl. You think this person is too good to be true and red flags are quickly overlooked or minimized. For example: Did he/she cheat on an ex before getting divorced? You easily come up with a rationale, such as: his ex was a “psycho,” or her ex was a “control freak.” You explain the cheating with, “Their marriage was on the rocks, and they were just staying together for the kids.” You overlook annoying behaviors like his obnoxiously loud laugh, or the way she sends her food back every time you go out to dinner. The first trimester is a whirlwind of wild sex and passion that you can’t imagine ever changing. Everything he/she does is so cute! You start to believe that this person could be “The One.”
Second Trimester: The bun is cooking in the oven, and the reality of how life will change with your new baby is starting to hit home. You try not to go there, but you notice some flaws that seem to seep through that impenetrably perfect person. For example: His snoring didn’t seem so loud at first, but now you’re wondering if you’ll need to take Ambien every time you have a sleepover. You never realized that if she didn’t make the plans for the evening, she would shut down all your ideas. You start to notice that what you thought was an isolated incident of his losing his temper when a car cut him off was really a horrible problem with road rage. The little things that were no big deal in the first trimester have started to really bother you. This person has begun to lose some footing on the pedestal that was once a solid granite nonslip pillar. You mentally start weighing the pros and cons of seeing him/her in the future.
Third Trimester: The little bundle of joy is about to arrive, and you’ve accepted the fact that life is going to be different. You begin to communicate and figure out how to deal with the small issues that annoy you about the other person. You focus on the positive aspects of the man/woman you’re dating. For example: You sleep in separate bedrooms on the nights you know he drank a few too many Johnny Walkers and will snore louder than a lawn mower. Conversely, there are character flaws that are intolerable and can’t be overlooked. She yells at you and humiliates you in public. You try talking to him about your feelings, and he storms out of the room and doesn’t call you for days. You find out that she cheated on you when she went skiing in Aspen. This is the make-it-or-break-it part of the pregnancy and determines the future of the relationship.
Giving birth to a real relationship is not easy and unlike the inevitability of a baby, you may decide to break up. It can be a stressful, uncomfortable, bumpy road, just like going through the aches and pains of carrying a baby. Is it worth it? Absolutely–everyone wants to find “The One.” You just need to go through all three trimesters until you feel that first slap on the tush.